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Police officer to face sharks in swim across the Atlantic

PUBLISHED: 17:23 04 December 2018

PC Wood will set off in January for her Atlantic trip Picture: ESSEX POLICE

PC Wood will set off in January for her Atlantic trip Picture: ESSEX POLICE

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An officer from a police force’s marine unit will face sharks and perilous seas as she attempts a world record rowing challenge across the Atlantic.

PC Wood's 3,000 mile journey will begin on the island of Gran Canaria and end in  Barbados Picture: GOOGLE MAPSPC Wood's 3,000 mile journey will begin on the island of Gran Canaria and end in Barbados Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

It is described as one of the toughest feats on earth, with more people climbing Mount Everest or going into Space than crossing an ocean using a rowing boat.

Officer Dawn Wood, from Maldon, will be only the seventh woman in the world to complete the arduous 3,000-mile challenge and is hoping to break the world record for the fastest woman to row solo across the Atlantic - a feat set by Kiko Matthews, who completed the challenge in just 49 days.

She will set off in January and hopes to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

PC Wood said: “I’m trying to break the world record, I’m trying to raise awareness about plastic pollution and I’m trying to inspire others as well.

“I’m not an athlete, I was never an academic but I’ve found something that I’m good at and I want to work hard to achieve something.

“If I can achieve the world record that would be great and if I can achieve just getting across, that is still an achievement.”

Pc Wood also hopes to raise £25,000 for the Marine Conservation Society through the trip.

She said: “Plastic pollution is a problem for every animal and human being on this planet, which is one of the reasons I’m doing such a challenge.

“I’ve been a skipper on the Essex Police Marine Unit for the past 16 years and during that time, the amount of rubbish I’ve seen floating around the coastline and washing up on the coast makes me really sad.”

Dawn will be departing on January 4 in her Rannoch - a purpose-built, solar-powered ocean rowing boat from Gran Canaria.

Her vast journey will see her face treacherous seas, storms and even sharks as she makes her way to the Caribbean.

Pc Wood said: “There are going to be sharks out there so I have got shark repellent, which you attach around your ankle and it sends out an electrical signal.

“Apparently it scares the sharks off, it works in the River Crouch in Essex so I can’t see there being a problem with that at all.”

Visit the website to find out more about her expedition and how to sponsor her.

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